|My 6th-floor view on the world: Heading towards day's end, this is Woodstock from my desk. Devil's Peak is directly in front, Table Mountain to the right. The Mountain, proof that even mountains can be moved, remains my inspiration.|
I've lived in a simple but light- and plant-filled 6th-floor flat in Woodstock, Cape Town since the beginning of 2014. The view of the neighbourhood, Devil’s Peak and Table Mountain from my writing table is my constant companion as both my and the city's moods change in a heartbeat.
From my seagull 's eye view, I watch as the suburb (which I at first had a love-hate relationship with) grapples - in stops and starts - with an uneasy process of gentrification. Cape Town city centre is at most a 3km walk, cycle or minibus-taxi ride away.
In December 2013, after a dramatic car accident I gave up my life-long notion of owning a motor car. At first, that very idea was a shock to my system. However, I’ve realised that, mostly on foot, I’m able to connect honestly with my environment, my city. I've been enabled to truly see, smell and hear it devoid of the hideously deceitful and alienating ‘photo-shopping’ out of 'ugly' reality (of poverty and inequality) of the tourism brochures and websites. The reality of Cape Town, with its massive socioeconomic chasms between have-nots and haves, of the severest in the world, is always grim but sometimes, only sometimes, both grim and beautiful simultaneously.
As a journalism lecturer at a local university, also a post-grad student at another one, and a note-taking flâneur, I am beginning a process of working out how to place the reality of my neighbourhood and city, also climate change, firmly on an 'agenda' via my words and photos.
** The notes in this blog are just that, notes. I often make them on the run - i.e. on the bus, at the stop street from my bike saddle, over a quick coffee on a sidewalk, in a minibus taxi. Published from my phone or from my mini tablet. They're not perfect, they're not meant to be perfect. Long ago I learned that striving for perfection is a toxic blight that prevents many things from seeing the light of day. I get the words down, hopefully, if life gives me a gap later, I'll edit and polish. Most likely not. This is my notebook. The notes serve no purpose other than for the pleasure the creating of them gives me. It's ridiculously therapeutic. Approximately 99.999% of the photos are mine, I'll always indicate the source when they're not.
|The mix of cultures, histories, architecture and language in Woodstock both fascinates and inspires me. It's my base. I can't remember where I took this photo, but I am presuming - if I can remember properly - that it's somewhere closeby.|